The ISS Soyuz 10 spacecraft carried Station Expedition 11 Commander Sergei Krikalev and NASA Science Officer and Flight Engineer John Phillips to orbit along with European Space Agency Astronaut Roberto Vittori.
The Soyuz launched at 7:46 p.m. CDT from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. At the time, the Station was flying in a northeasterly direction about 230 miles above the South Atlantic Ocean. With Krikalev at the controls, the Soyuz is on course to catch up and dock with the Station at 9:19 p.m. Saturday, April 16.
The hatches between the arriving Soyuz 10 spacecraft and the Station will be opened at about 12:05 a.m. Sunday. Live NASA Television coverage of the docking and hatch opening will begin at 8 p.m. Saturday.
Krikalev and Phillips will stay aboard the Station until October, while Vittori will spend eight days there conducting experiments. The Station residents will open the door for the Space Shuttle Discovery's crew on their STS-114 mission to ISS in May or June.
Expedition 10 Commander and NASA Science Officer Leroy Chiao and Flight Engineer Salizhan Sharipov have been doing research and maintaining Station systems since October. With Vittori, they will undock from the Station and return to Earth April 24.